Last Mother’s Day, I made it a point not to take the whole “Mother’s Day” phenom in the church too far. I talked about how insensitive we can be on Mother’s Day. I talked about barrenness, horrible moms, etc. After the service, a young woman that recently started attending came and spoke with me. She thanked me. She said for years Mother’s Day had been so awkward for her. She felt guilty. She felt less than other women because she was barren. She said that she had never been to a church that made her feel comfortable on Mother’s Day. That really humbled me. It inspired me to be careful on Mother’s day.
I certainly hope no one takes this post the wrong way. I have nothing against women. My mom is a woman. I married a woman. My daughter is on her way to womanhood. So please, bear with me. I just want to vent a little bit. If we are not careful as a church, we can go overboard on Mother’s Day. In fact, as far as our worship service goes, it can become “Smothers Day.” Rather than focusing on Christ, our focus can easily shift to people. I am aware that God has lots to say about moms. And I also believe that mothers are under appreciated and overlooked in our society. We could write volumes on those two truths. However, I want to use this space to steer our churches in the right direction this Mother’s Day.
1) Don’t say “Being a mother is the greatest privilege in the world.” Here are a few reasons why we shouldn’t say that:
— It isn’t true. Being a child of the King is the greatest privilege in the world.
— It is hurtful. It implies that if you are a father or a barren/childless mom you can’t enjoy the greatest privilege in the world.
— It is disingenuous. Honest people listening to us know that statement isn’t true. It can cause folks to tune us out for the rest of the service.
2) Don’t plan the worship service around moms. We go to church to celebrate Jesus. I understand that our culture has created a great day for worthy individuals. The restaurants, flower shops, and even our churches benefit from it. That’s all fine. But when we walk into church, we shut the world out. It’s about Jesus. Every worship service should be planned around Him.
3) Don’t exaggerate. We do that in church sometimes. There are a lot of songs out there about a mother’s Bible or a mother’s prayers. Granted there are some wonderful praying moms and we are thankful for them. But be careful. Prayers are not more powerful because the woman who prayed them bore children. We shouldn’t pretend that by virtue of being a mom you will pray better than other folks.
4) Don’t deify moms. I’m convinced that some people want to go to heaven simply because their mother is there. I will guarantee you that there is not a mother in heaven that wants to be the center of attention. Everyone in heaven has their eternal attention on the Lamb of God. And please don’t portray moms as the greatest gift ever given to us! I think John 3:16 lays that one out for us pretty plain.
5) Do let moms know how much you love and appreciate them.
6) Do remind moms of their responsibility before God to lead their children to Christ.
7) Do comfort those that are barren or single or have lost children.
8) Do preach the gospel. Share Christ. Tell the folks that Christ loves them more than their mother does. Tell them that the pain their mother endured so they could be born cannot compare to the pain that Christ endured so they could be reborn.
As a final note, I would encourage you to show your mom how much you love her if at all possible. For that matter, show every woman in your life how much you appreciate and love them. Women are a special gift from God. They should be loved and appreciated every day.